Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Adopting a Fellow Traveler

This is Ryo. Met him on the bus from Phnom Penh to Saigon. Clutched in his hands was a travel guide in Japanese. He was on his own, traveling from Cambodia to Vietnam then to Laos and Thailand. No definite plans but just those destinations in mind.

Asked if he had a place to stay in Saigon, he answered in the negative. A suggestion to check out the backpackers' area was thrown his way, he followed along. When we got to Y Nhi Guesthouse, where we had booked our rooms, it was already full. We casually mentioned he could room with us if he wanted to, thinking he'd decline since he had only met us. And that's how we adopted a fellow traveler for one night.

No fuss, Ryo tagged along to wherever it was we chose to eat. From a pho restaurant for dinner (where we jokingly told him to eat whatever was on his plate and him being very obedient, did so, including the chilies, which made him sweat dollops and turn crimson, and us apologizing for such advice), to tearing off pieces from a banh mi bought from the street to be shared with three other friends, and to eating bun xao along the alley early in the morning.

He had some money exchanged to dong while we were waiting for our dinner. When he came back he showed us the money, asking in his broken English if the amount is correct. Finding out he had been duped, one of our friends accompanied him back to wherever it is he was shortchanged, retrieved his dollars and exchanged it for the right amount from a more trustworthy money changer.

In the morning, we parted ways as we boarded the bus to Mui Ne and him with his map, ready to hit the streets of Saigon before flying off to Hue in the evening.

Funny how he easily trusted us and us, him.

Veni, Vidi, (South) Vietnam:
Do You...?
What's in a (Business) Name? Vietnam
Bed Hopping
Adopting a Fellow Traveler (you're here!)
Strolling Saigon
From Concrete City to Sand Town
From Sand Town to the Highlands
Would You Call Us Lucky or Unlucky?
Wedding Crashers
Vietnom Nom Nom
Ding Dong, Dong's All Gone


  1. Woah.. The thought of sharing a room with a stranger is scary but this guy was an exception. You're probably born to be a travel buddy. :D

    Babe for Food - your BFF in Cebu dining! :)

    1. Us being five vs one Ryo made us brave :-D But I think one Ryo vs five strangers, he is braver.

  2. Japanese are very wonderful people so I don't think you should worry about them next time you meet one again in the future!

    1. Wasn't really worried, just surprised that he trusted us (not that we look suspicious hahah) in an instant. Thanks for taking time to read this post!

  3. just reviewed your s.korea series. very helpful! =)

    1. Wow! Thanks Chyng for spending time browsing my space on the web. I hope it helped a bit in your planning. Have fun in Korea!